Lightspeed Retail Review

Lightspeed
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Lightspeed Retail
Lightspeed
2005
Montreal, Quebec
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
74,000+
Cloud
Yes

Lightspeed Retail At A Glance

Good: Ability to sell products both in the store and online, mobile point of sale system, scalable pricing plans.
Bad: Lightspeed Payments is only available for U.S. businesses, offline mode feature is not offered.
Bottom Line: Retail POS solution empowering small and midsized businesses to run their operation successfully.

Product Overview

Lightspeed offers both retail and restaurant point of sale (POS) systems. This review focuses on the Lightspeed Retail POS.

Lightspeed Retail POS is a cloud-based platform targeted to small and medium-sized businesses. Users can capture point of sale transactions from anywhere on the premises, track inventory and increase customer loyalty. Lightspeed Retail provides scalable pricing, so businesses can add on other features as they grow.

There are many benefits to the platform, such as:

  • Robust payment processing feature, giving customers different ways to pay for products
  • Streamlined inventory management
  • Integration with many other applications (e.g., accounting software)
  • Free onboarding and 24/7 support

Lightspeed Retail offers two hardware kits that integrate with the POS system. The iPad hardware kit comes bundled with a cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, an iPad stand and receipt paper. The desktop hardware kit includes a USB receipt printer, a USB scanner and a cash drawer. Lightspeed also sells individual hardware accessories, such as a label printer, cash drawer and Bluetooth barcode scanner.

Plus, there’s a mobile POS system that enables businesses to run their operations via an iPad. They can ring up sales from anywhere on the floor to customer wait times, manage their staff, measure sales performance and track inventory on the go.

Features

Here are the key features of Lightspeed Retail POS.

Lightspeed Payments – Lightspeed Payments is a payment processing feature that allows businesses to accept cash, credit, debit or gift cards from their customers. Businesses can pair it with an EMV-compatible terminal to stay compliant, and Lightspeed staff can manage transaction disputes and chargebacks on the business’s behalf. There are also tools that comply with PCI requirements, such as fraud monitoring and alerts. Customer credit card information is saved on file, so businesses can easily process refunds without rerunning a physical card.

Customer management – This feature stores customer profiles with data like demographics, sales history and notes. Businesses can create a unique status denoting specific customers (e.g., VIP customers) for discounts and other promotional opportunities. They can also improve customer service by offering gift cards, creating a loyalty program or setting up an in-store display kiosk that features detailed product information.

Inventory management – The inventory management feature includes an import tool for uploading data by a CSV or Excel file. Businesses can add a unique serial number to each item, group items into specific categories or create product variations (e.g., size, color). Lightspeed Retail has a built-in vendor catalog, so businesses can order stock directly from the software. Users can also create special customer orders and combine multiple stock requests into a single purchase order.

Multistore management – Retailers that have multiple locations can manage each site in Lightspeed Retail. They’re able to purchase new inventory for all sites at once, transfer items between locations and get insights into each store’s performance.

Omnichannel management – Lightspeed Retail provides omnichannel capability for businesses that want to sell their products both in-store and online. Businesses can create their website using customizable templates, increase search traffic with SEO features and run promotions on social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest). The software synchronizes the inventory between the in-store and online channels each time an item is purchased, so there’s no manual data entry.

Reporting and analytics – Users can run reports from over 40 templates on metrics, such as sales and inventory, that can be exported to PDF or Excel. Lightspeed Analytics, an advanced feature, analyzes data, presents it to the user via an interactive dashboard and provides actionable tips that help businesses optimize their operations.

Target Market

Lightspeed Retail targets small-to-medium-sized retailers of various types, including jewelry, electronic, sporting goods and clothing stores. We’ve listed 10 of its customers below.

  • Amali Gifts
  • Brompton Bicycle
  • Donna’s Pet Depot
  • FC Cincinnati
  • Goodwill
  • LeZot Camera
  • Le Trunkshop
  • Nile Boutique
  • Todd Snyder New York
  • YM Camera

Implementation/Integration

New clients can sign up for a free trial before purchasing any of the five subscription plans. Lightspeed offers a free onboarding session with one of its product specialists, and the client can opt for a follow-up session. There are also interactive webinars, videos and product guides.

Lightspeed can integrate with different applications, such as accounting software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and marketing automation solutions.

Customer Service & Support

Lightspeed provides free 24/7 phone, email and live chat support. Users can also browse the help center, submit ticket requests and engage with other users in a community forum.

Pricing

Lightspeed Retail has five subscription plans, based on annual billing.

  • Basic – The Basic plan costs $69 per month and includes the POS system and payment processing features.
  • Starter – The Starter plan is $99 per month and includes all the features of the Basic plan, plus eCommerce functionality.
  • Standard – The Standard plan costs $119 per month and includes all the features of the Starter plan, plus integration to accounting software.
  • Advanced – The Advanced plan is $169 per month and includes all the features of the Standard plan, plus a loyalty program.
  • Pro – The Pro plan costs $229 per month and includes all the features of the Advanced plan, plus analytics features.

If a business wants to add on other registers, they must pay an extra $29 per month.

The payment processing fee is 2.6% plus 10 cents for tapped, inserted or swiped transactions and 2.6% plus 30 cents for manually keyed-in transactions.

The pricing for hardware items and gift cards are not publicly available, so please contact Lightspeed for a quote.

Shortcomings

Because Lightspeed Payments is only available in the U.S., businesses in other countries will need to integrate a third-party payment processing solution. Also, the system doesn’t have offline mode, so users will be unable to process transactions if the Internet is down.

Screenshots

Lightspeed Screenshot 1
Lightspeed Screenshot 2
Lightspeed Screenshot 3

About

Lightspeed aims to help smaller businesses work smarter and provide exceptional customer service. It launched Lightspeed Retail in 2013 and experienced significant growth, allowing it to launch new products and expand its employee base from 100 workers in 2012 to over 900 workers in 2019.

Lightspeed has received several awards in recent years, including the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) 2019 Innovator of the Year award. It’s headquartered in Montreal and has offices in Olympia (Washington), Toronto, London, Paris and several other locations.

Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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